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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Detailed Drug Information (USP DI) > Zonisamide : Before Using

Zonisamide (Systemic)

Brand Names : Zonegran

Zonisamide | Before Using | Proper Use | Precautions | Side Effects

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For zonisamide, the following should be considered:

Allergies - Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to zonisamide, or to sulfonamide antibiotics (for example, Bactrim[reg ] or Septra[reg ]). Also tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy - Zonisamide has not been studied in pregnant women. However, studies in animals have shown that zonisamide causes birth defects and other serious problems with the pregnancy. Before taking this medicine, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or if you may become pregnant.

Breast-feeding - Zonisamide has been shown to pass into breast milk. However, it is not known whether this medicine causes problems in nursing babies. Mothers who are taking zonisamide and who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with their doctor.

Children - Safety and efficacy have not been established in children who are under 16 years of age and is not approved for use.


Studies in children have shown that some children are at higher risk for oligohidrosis (decreased sweating) and hyperthermia (unusually high body temperature), especially in warm or hot weather. This can sometimes result in heat stroke and hospitalization.

Older adults - Many medicines have not been studied specifically in older people. Therefore, it may not be known whether they work exactly the same way they do in younger adults. Although there is no specific information comparing use of zonisamide in the elderly with use in other age groups, this medicine is not expected to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.

Other medicines - Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking zonisamide, it is especially important that your doctor and pharmacist know if you are taking any of the following:

  • Alcohol or
  • Carbamazepine [e.g. Tegretol]) or
  • Phenobarbital [e.g. Barbita or Mysoline] or
  • Phenytoin [e.g. Dilantin] or
  • Valproate [e.g. Depakote] - Taking any of these medicines with zonisamide may decrease the amount of zonisamide in the blood, causing an decrease in effectiveness, and a possible increase in seizure frequency
  • Anticholinergics (medicine for abdominal or stomach spasms or cramps or drying up a runny nose) or
  • Acetazolamide [e.g., Diamox] or
  • Dichlorphenamide [e.g., Daranide] or
  • Methazolamide [e.g., Neptazane] - Side effects of zonisamide, such as dryness of mouth or heat intolerance, may be more likely to occur
  • Central nervous system depressants (medicines that cause drowsiness) - Using these medicines or alcohol with zonisamide may cause increased drowsiness

Other medical problems - The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of zonisamide. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Kidney disease or
  • Liver disease

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Zonisamide: Description and Brand Names


Zonisamide: Proper Use

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